It’s hard to be around parents who are not getting along. Hearing them argue, shout, cry and slam doors can be tough. The tension in the house is hard for everyone to bear especially if they are not speaking to each other.
“It was really hard in the house for ages before my parent’s split up. Mum and dad didn’t talk to each other much and only talked to me. When they did talk it turned into a row over the smallest thing and I stayed out with my friends as much as possible.” Tara, 14.
They still love you
When people are going through difficulties such as divorce, their behaviour can change for a while too. You may find your parents become more strict about things they did not mind before, or that the rules are more relaxed and they don’t seem to notice you as much. Your parents may sometimes fight with you when really they are angry with each other.
Even if your parents seem distracted, they still love you and want to know what’s bothering you. Find a quiet time and talk to them about how you’re feeling and what’s upsetting you.
You might find you’re worried that your parents will be lonely or will not be able to cope and want to look after them, but it’s important to remember that your parents are the adults and while it is nice to be able to comfort them, it’s not up to you to solve their problems. Even if they are sad and angry, they will get used to the changes in their lives but it will take time.
Everyone falls out from time to time, including your parents. It’s healthy to argue about important things to clear the air and not let things build up.
Some parents can argue quite a lot and still have a happy marriage. However sometimes you may find your parents cannot agree on anything and argue all the time.
It is not your fault
Parents often think that if they argue behind closed doors, you will not be affected. This is not true, often if you can hear shouting and slamming doors this can be scary. If you hear your name, you may worry that you have done something wrong. Remember – whatever is going on with your parents, it is their argument and not your fault.
Not everyone shouts when they have a row. You may find your parents have stopped speaking to each other. This is another way of arguing and can make the house a very difficult and uncomfortable place to live. Sometimes, the only person your parents will speak to in the house is you and this can make you feel awkward. If this happens, do not be afraid to speak to them and ask them to find a way of communicating so you won’t have to feel stuck in the middle.
Sometimes parents can get really angry and lose control. This may lead to heated arguments and maybe even involve shoving or hitting each other. If you feel you’re being bullied or hurt by your parent’s behaviour, it’s essential to talk to someone like a relative, teacher or school counsellor. They will be able to help you stay safe and talk your problems through.